Date Line: July 14, 2020
Fairview UMC has maintained a strong presence during the Coronavirus outbreak by means of Facebook and Zoom, replacing our physical gatherings with live-streaming and zooming since March 15th. Who knew that we would depend on technology to hold our church family together during a pandemic such as this. It has been like walking through a fog, unsure of which way to go and often second-guessing ourselves. But then, God always shows us a path to Him if we only believe and trust in Him.
On June 14th, we began to break out of the fog with a Sunday morning worship service outdoors, under the picnic shed. With the new rules we must abide by in order to stay active in the conference, all participants and attendees are required to wear masks; so if you have one be sure to bring it. If you do not have a mask or forget to bring it, one will be provided for you.
The picnic tables are removed. Social distancing guidelines are observed. Everyone is encouraged to bring a folding chair; families or members of the same household may sit closer together if desired. You may also bring a blanket to sit on in the grass just outside the picnic area, where social distancing should still be observed.
Unfortunately, there can be no congregational singing or spoken liturgy, and hugging and hand shaking is not permitted. Entry to the church building is not permitted except to those pre-authorized in preparation for the service.
Currently the Holston Conference does not allow any inside services; however, Fairview has devised a plan to hold Sunday morning worship in the Fellowship Hall when permitted by the Conference. This plan has been approved by the District Superintendent – another step forward in our progress toward triumphing over the virus!
The same requirements for masks and distancing will be observed as in the picnic shed service; however, the tables and chairs will not be removed. They will be covered with sanitized disposable material. The Fellowship Hall, kitchen, and adjacent rest rooms are the only areas of the church that will be accessible, and entry and exit will be clearly marked. Hand sanitizers will be available, as will optional temperature checks upon entry.
Anyone who does not feel well, has health issues, or just is not comfortable coming out just yet is encouraged to stay home and join us on Facebook. We are so joyful that we are able to gather again, even if it is limited, but we want everyone to be safe and we are doing our best to make sure the physical church is a healthy place to gather and worship with friends and family.